Fenoglio’s approach is often autobiographical but it became less and less so as his writing matured. A distinctive feature of his narrative approach is the detachment from an ideological or partisan perspective: Fenoglio portrays the men and the women of the Resistenza with their fears, weaknesses, and ambivalence. The influence of the philosophical theory of existentialism, espoused in Italy by Pietro Chiodi, a close friend of Fenoglio, is apparent in the clash between an ethics of rules and an ethics of responsibility. Fenoglio stresses the importance of the choices we make to realize the freedom that the French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre considered central to the human experience.
Fenoglio loved the English language so much that he said he wrote Primavera di Bellezza first in English before translating it in Italian. Fenoglio’s translations of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights also appeared in print posthumously
This year, the Centro Studi Beppe Fenoglio celebrates the 100 years of the author’s birth (March 1st 1922) with many events until March 1st 2023.
For a balanced and insightful discussion of Fenoglio’s literary production, see Tobias Jones’s recent essay.